Many Jewish teens will set aside a portion of their bar and bat mitzvah loot for charitable contributions in the way of planting trees in Israel and saving the whales, but Saturday night’s party thrown by Hilarity for Charity to fete James Franco’s manhood (yes, he’s Jewish, and you can have a bar mitzvah at any point after the age of 13) raked in over 2 million dollars in donations to help those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
Hilarity for Charity co-founders Seth Rogen and wife Lauren Miller Rogen hosted the org’s 4th annual variety show presented by Funny or Die and Go90, which took place at the Hollywood Palladium and featured a not-exactly-traditional bar mitzvah entertainment lineup that included comedians Bill Hader and Kyle Kinane, Jewish sister-band Haim and Miley Cyrus, who rocked out in a blue leotard thong reminiscent of Jane Fonda’s 1980’s aerobics workout videos.
“I want to welcome all the Jews, semi-Jews and gentiles pretending to be Jews to get ahead in Hollywood,” Rogen joked by way of introduction, dressed as Tevye from “Fiddler on the Roof,” launching into a spirited rendition of “Tradition” with the help of dancers in full-on shtetl peasant costume.
He later expressed his gratitude for guests’ support by promising to “share (his) porno website password.”
Other highlights of the night included a charity auction—2 lunches with Rogen and Apple computer inventor Steve Wozniak fetched a combined $230 thousand dollars—a mock circumcision of the bar mitzvah boy with Jeff Goldblum as acting rabbi, and a round of rock-and-roll-inspired hava nagila performed by Haim, during which the crowd danced the hora and, per Jewish custom, hoisted Franco up on a chair. With 11 bars featuring Svedka vodka and specialty cocktails such as the “Franco File La Fizz,” guests also had the option of making numerous l’chaims in Franco’s honor.
“This bar mitzvah represents a fresh start for me,” said Franco, donning a yarmulke (an actual bar mitzvah service, with Torah portion and all, was held two weeks prior). “Everything I did prior to this moment I didn’t do as a man but as a mere child. Therefore, any behavior that might have been questionable at any time, just know I wasn’t thinking, I was just a boy with the cognitive capacity of a minor. I want to thank you all for coming and seeing me finally become a man.”
But while most bar mitzvah boys have to suffer through accordion players and bat mitzvah band renditions of “Blurred Lines,” Franco’s party had Cyrus rounding out the night with karaoke-esque nods to “Superfreak” and “Shout” and a rousing performance of her smash hit “We Can’t Stop,” all while twerking with, naturally, a big, blue Jewish star.